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CSC Online Design Lab, Winter 2021-2022
During the winter of 2021-2022, mindyourmind hosted a self expression design lab, which was the first of its kind! Through this design lab, we provided youth with a safe space to learn about self expression as a form of self care. We brought in three local and creative guest speakers to facilitate their own sessions and teach youth about different self expression techniques. Each session combined learning and then applying these self expression practices, some of which included spoken word, poetry, dance, and art. Together, we laughed, cried, and explored difficult topics. We connected on such a deep level and we are all forever changed by this experience!
During our last session we hosted a self expression showcase. As part of the showcase, the youth had an opportunity to share their choice of self expression. We were truly inspired and amazed by their self expression pieces. It was incredible to see how each youth challenged themselves and grew over our time together. To conclude this design lab, we created an infographic with tips for individuals who are new to practicing self expression.
Expression is an integral part of healing. It can also be extremely difficult to do as it opens up a lot of feelings that can be hard to process. Self expression is one way that individuals can work towards their healing in a manner that allows them to feel safe. We chose self expression as the theme for this design lab to give youth an opportunity to explore different self expression tools they could incorporate into their healing journey. We wanted to provide youth with tangible skills they could add to their individual “self care kits” as well as share with other people around them. After all, self expression is great for your mental health! Expressing yourself through art, writing, or movement can help you to process big emotions and grief, as well as connect you to your inner child.
The mindyourmind team and 16 awesome youth; Agnes, Aleisha, Allyson, Anuijan, Cassondra, Emma, Herbert, Ilakkiah, Jordyn, Karly, Mabe, Micheline, Sara, Sara-Abrar, Takara, and Tanner.
From December 2021 - January 2022, online via Zoom.
Online meetings with youth tuning in from across the country!
This group decided on 1 question:
Reflecting back on our Self Expression Design Lab, what did you learn?
Here are their answers…
I explored poetry as an interesting form of self expression. Something I hadn't given much thought of before.
This design lab allowed me to learn new methods of self expression and ways to channel my emotions. I also was able to refine old skills sets and become more comfortable with how I use them.
I learned that a safe place can be made with a group of open-minded individuals who are willing to share and appreciate thoughts and experiences.
Different modes of creation how to be playful & how to safely revisit grief.
Following the guide that was given to us in the emails, that small things such as taking a bath can be self care. It’s nice to have so many resources and not ones that are absurd and hard to actually achieve
Self-expression is so important for mental health care and that having an outlet to express yourself makes us feel better.
I learned that self-expression begins from self-awareness. I joined the design lab with the idea that I was self-expressing, but after the many sessions, I learned that self-expression is a process and I had a lot of learning to do. Through the diverse workshops & listening to others in the design lab, I'm glad that I am more self-aware, and getting better at self-expression.
Learned to take time and actually carve out time to work on expressing myself creatively. I also learned how healing it can be!
I learned that everyone has the ability to express themselves in a myriad of different ways and that self expression is integral to healing oneself.
I absolutely loved the importance of self care.
To step out of my comfort zone because I will be accepted.
Self expression can take many forms.